Panthers extend win streak to 7

Rollins leads JHS girls to 64-19 win over Central


The Johnston girls basketball team continued to roll as it toppled visiting Central 64-19 last week to improve to 7-1 and extending its win streak to seven games.
Point guard Jayanah Rollins led the Panthers with 28 points while Bella Gesualdi added 12. Rollins put up 14 points in the third quarter to help slam the door on the Knights. Nearly all of Rollins’ points came from breakaways, which Johnston coach Jhamal Diggs has been emphasizing at practice with the club.
“We’ve been practicing playing a lot faster and our transition game has gotten a lot better. Rebound the ball, outlet and get down the floor. We have been working on that in practice and it showed today,” said Diggs, who has been thrilled with Rollins’ impact. The senior standout missed the early portion of the year after coming off her second ACL tear and has immediately become one of the Panthers’ go-to producers on each end of the floor.
“She’s a huge difference maker. So much respect and so much love for the kid. She’s still out there giving us 100 percent on both the offensive end and defensive end. She’s a key piece to what we do,” said Diggs.
The win keeps the Panthers in second place in Division IV behind Davies, who got a comeback win over Johnston on opening night. The two teams appear to be on a collision course and Rollins’ return will likely create a whole new dynamic on paper. Although the Panthers would like to be in first place, they are focused on the long-term rather than the short.
“I’m a competitor and I like being number one, but all we care about is what happens in the playoffs. Right now, it doesn’t matter. Those standings can change before the playoffs so right now we just want to focus on getting better in time for the playoffs,” said Diggs.
Rollins has faith in her teammates and also looks forward to the chance to reestablish Johnston as one of the state’s best basketball communities.
“It’s a team effort. We work together, pick each other up, and if we mess up, we don’t dwell on it. There’s a little bit of pressure but if we stay positive, we’ll be good and get the outcome that we’re looking for,” Rollins said. “We’re very motivated because we want to get Johnston back on the map.”


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